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to think I could still travel with a child?(80 Posts)
Bit of background info: currently TTC after many years of indecision DH and I are BIG travellers. We probably do 3 or 4 foreign holidays a year, at least one long-haul (I don't mean that to sound boastful - we have a small flat, no car and no expensive holidays, and while I appreciate that we are financially comfortable, we do cut back on other things to prioritise the travel). We also live out of the UK anyway, so also do 2 or 3 trips back to England a year to visit family (very important to me, and I think that would be more so if we did have kids).
AIBU to think I won't have to stop travelling completely if/when I have kids? Every time I talk about our next trip/future holiday plans, my friends/colleagues invariably roll their eyes and make some comment along the lines of "well, better fit those holidays in now, if you have kids that will all be over". MIL actually thinks we should stop the travel now because "it will make it easier on us when we (obviously) have to give up".
I'm not completely naive and know we'd have to reduce the amount of travel a lot (maybe just one or two trips a year??). I also know that it would require a lot more organisation and patience. But I know so many people who travel with kids (never been on a long-haul flight without some young children there) - my parents travelled with me and my DSis when we were very young (even to Australia). My Dad worked for an airline so it was part of life for us. Why do people imply it will be impossible with kids?
At the risk of sounding overdramatic, the comments really get me down. Travel is the whole focus of our year - I've always said that if I had to give up anything in life, travel would be the very last thing I'd give up. To see the world is the only thing I've really wanted from life. AIBU to think it's not incompatible with having kids?
"it's never the adventure you have as an adult, you'll have to carefully plan everything around the child, they won't remember it anyway"
- It will be a different adventure but still such an epic adventure. Part of the fun of travelling is the planning and itll just be different planning. And they may not remember some boring museum or some things but their definitely going to be very positively influenced by playing with the local children on the beaches, remember the first time they see an elephant etc. And surely the pushchair could be left at home.
Im very for the view that travel and a child is an adventure.
DD's first overseas trip was to rural India at five months old. She is now 7 and we've taken her on 6 long haul trips to Asian countries and 4 holidays in Europe. We've never had any problems at all, she loves travelling as much as we do! She absolutely relished our last 12-hour plane journey, is willing to try all kinds of different foods, loves trying out words in different languages and happily makes friends with the local children. Yes, we do now ensure that our itinerary includes some stuff for her, but we do the things that we want to do too and we all enjoy all of them. It can be quite fun to see things through a child's eyes. And kids learn so much from overseas trips!
I do remember meeting a woman in India when dd was small, and it was obviously a revelation to her that you could still travel after having children. I think she'd decided not to have a family as she thought it would stop her from living the kind of life that she wanted. I found that quite sad. At the end of the day, it's about sharing your life with your children - yes, you have to make adjustments of course, but you don't have to become an entirely different person!
If travel is that important to you and your DH, OP, you will find a way to work your family life around it. And you may find that you start to see the world from a whole new perspective!
You can def be spontaneous still. I suppose it depends on how much planning you need to do.
Many times we will see cheap flights to say Copenhagen on wed, and fly fri eve for the weekend. Pushchair not possible, take a sling. Naptime web museum open, either sleep in sling/ pram or change Naptime. Museums may not have climbing walls, but children can cope fine, if boring to them we just do something they like before or after.
Unless you are traveling to outer Mongolia everything for a child can be brought pretty easy if you need or forget anything.
Example of our weekend in Poland is say-
fri eve flight ( get children to nap late), arrive 10.30pm in hotel ( youngest asleep in sling). Get some food if they want then settle down.
Sat spent leisurely breakfast in bed due to late night, head out around 11am, wander through bazaar/ church/ square. Grab some food and eat along river, 2pm children nap on picnic blanket under tree- we sunbath. Late afternoon we hied a tour cart/ cr thing with guide. Kids loved ride and info headsets, we see what we wanted. Evening meal out, back in hotel around 9.30pm. Kids sleep, we have wine on balcony.
Sun- wander gardens and parks, checkout hotel ( only have two small rucksacks anyway- it is only 2 days), head to river for boat trip. Lunch, taxi back to airport for 5pm flight. ( kids nap in taxi for hour). Fly- home.
Same pretty much as we would have done pre children.
I'm feeling a lot better after reading these answers, thank you so much to everyone who replied.
The need to plan doesn't put me off - I'm not a spontaneous person at all I'm glad so many of you enjoy travelling with your kids. My nicest childhood memories all centre around holidays, so I'd hope to be able to pass that on.
Something else to add - while our travel destinations nowadays are a lot less 'exciting' than they used to be - I've been amazed and pleased by how many lovely places there are to visit close by. We went to Belgium three years ago. I can safely say that apart from maybe a city break I wouldn't have gone there otherwise, but we had a lovely week - the countryside is beautiful and there was TONS to see and do.
Ditto a holiday in Dorset a few months after DS2 arrived. It's so pretty down there and there's masses to see and do, lovely beaches, castles, charming towns, etc. So your travel will change, but it can still be lovely.
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